Photo credit: Patrick McDermott
[Note: This recap is Chanukah-themed tonight. Why? Because there's literally no one on the Internet right now.]
Last week, there was only one way to describe the play of the Washington Capitals: shameful. After winning three straight, the Capitals allowed seven unanswered goals at Verizon Center, before showing some life late against Montreal. Saturday’s game, though, was markedly different. The Capitals still lost, but they put 50 shots on goal, Washington’s highest total since 2010. On the first night of Chanukah, the Caps looked to continue that output against the lowly Ottawa Senators. They did — at first.
It started with a sublime play by yelling person-cum-Jewish pun Michael Latta, who skated into the offensive zone, got tripped, and then pole vaulted over a Sens defender. The loose puck went to Eric Fehr, who unleashed a lovely wrist shot to put the Caps on the board. Ottawa tied it up less than a minute and a half later, however, when Bobby Ryan tipped one past Braden Holtby on the man-advantage. However, Marcus Johansson whacked in a loose puck in front on the power play just 38 seconds after the Sens tally, giving the Caps a 2-1 lead. BUT WAIT! A mere 47 seconds later, Brooks Laich backhanded home a loose puck in front. Four goals in under five minutes. Whew!
The second period was all Sens. Chris Philips put them within one with a blast on the power play, before Colin Greening tied the game at three.
In the final frame Mika Zibanejad added another PP tally. Ugh. The game looked hopeless until John Carlson tied it late. Prepare to cry, though, because just over a minute later Zach Smith beat Mike Green and Nate Schmidt to win the ballgame. Ryan added an empty netter. Sad face. Vodka. Sens edge Caps 6-4
- For the first time since 1918, the Festival of Lights and Thanksgiving will coincide. That’s kinda neat I guess.
- How about that rain yesterday? That was a lot of rain. I was outside. I got very wet. Rain is not as fun as snow.
- Anyway, about the game. In the first period, there were four goals and 34 total penalty minutes. Do you know how hard it is to tweet all that and watch the game? Oh well.
- The penalty-crazed action continued in the second with 20 more PIMs. Meanwhile the Caps had just three shots on goal in the frame. Nineteen for the Sens.
- Seriously, the period was awful. Look at the Extra Skater chart.
- Unlike Bruce Boudreau and Adam Oates, I will always love Eric Fehr. Finally free of the press box, Fehrsie scored his first goal since October 10
- Brooks Laich did his best to justify Oates’ to play him over Martin Erat this year. Though Brooksie’s possession numbers are awful, he scored fourth goal of the year alone in front of Craig Anderson.
- Apparently Tyson Strachan is a thing. He did his best to remind us he exists but fighting Chris Neil after Neil laid a big hit on Nate Schmidt. The d-man got 17 minutes of penalty minutes for his unnecessary troubles.
- Washington’s penalty kill used to be the league’s top unit. Well, coming into tonight they had fallen to eighth overall. It’ll take a noise dive tomorrow. The Sens scored on three of their six power plays. Man.
- How about that ending, eh?
- Shoutout to my boy Kelsie McCrae, who turned the big One-Eight today. She’s celebrating in style by not giving a crap about this stupid recap.
Oy vey. You know how the Capitals always start games like crap before nearly coming back in the end? Well, the Sens did that tonight. What an epic collapse that second period was. The PK sucked too. The last couple minutes were too stressful to articulate. Four losses in a row.
Anyway, you can stop reading now. The holiday season starts now. Happy Chanukah to our Chosen Readers and Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. I’ll be back with you when the Caps head to Long Island for a Saturday showdown. Eat well, y’all.